He’s Ready, But Am I?

A few months ago, at a physical therapy appointment for Declan, his PT suggested trying to progress from him holding onto my fingers as he walked, and giving him an object to hold onto instead. So at home, I tried a few things; kid utensils, a wooden spoon, a toy hammer. It didn’t matter what it was, he would throw the object clear across the room, turn his head, yell and reach his hand back for me. There was no way he was ready to let go.

This scenario played out for weeks and weeks. I would try holding onto just one of his hands… but no, he wanted both. He just wasn’t ready.

A few weeks ago, I stood him in front of me and he sort of wobbled himself toward me (maybe a half of a step) and then collapsed into me. I did it a few more times, and what do you know?! He actually started taking a step or two towards me. All by himself.

The progression seemed slow to me. But really it wasn’t. 2 ½ weeks ago he was taking 2, maybe 3, steps towards me before launching himself on me. And today…he’s pretty much walking.

Walking! Just two days shy of 20 months old.

I didn’t really know when to expect this major milestone. Every kid is so different. Every achon kid is so different. But knowing that his gross motor skills have progressed very nicely for a child with achondroplasia, I thought it would be sometime this summer. My mama gut told me he would walk this summer.

When he started to finally sit independently (about 2-3 months ago), I stopped thinking so much about the walking. I had not realized how awesome just being able to sit would be! He could sit on his bum and play with his toys…a whole new perspective (as opposed to being on his tummy), he could sit on his bum at the park and have a snack, he could sit on his bum and play in the sand at the beach (and so on and so on!). Sitting was, sitting IS, awesome.

Sitting and having a fudgesicle (and then a bath!) at the campground

In the end, I wasn’t really in a hurry to let go. If he wanted to hold my fingers and walk, he could hold my fingers. But now when I set him down on his feet and offer my hands, there’s a slight push away while his body moves forward. Solo. Without the assurance of mom’s steady hands. He’s ready to let go.

Video and photos taken on my cell phone (sorry, poor quality!). But I had to immortalize this night!

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I Hate Running

I have longed to be that person who is able to lace up their runners, throw on a great playlist, open the door and hit the pavement. To be able to glide, seemingly, effortlessly down the road and across the trails…it seems so attainable, so easy…but really, it’s friggin hard. For me, anyhow.

Not that I usually have the kid-free time to be able to just open the door and run. But if the big kid isn’t home, I could strap the little kid into the stroller and give it a go. Alas…I am not that person. Not right now anyhow.

Growing up I was the chunky, overweight kid. Phys Ed class was always a nightmare. But in grade 10, my first year in high school and the last year of mandatory P.E. (yay!), I actually got a teacher that encouraged me. That believed I could do this and play that. And she gave me an ‘A’. Amazing. She was a great teacher. Around this time I also started going to the gym and actually got interested in caring about being healthier.

When I hit my early 20s, the motivation hit me to lose the weight. To really lose the weight. And I did. I felt like a new person, and I kept it all off for a number of years until I got pregnant for the first time. Slipping back into some old habits (compounded by a number of factors; moving cities, starting a new job, buying a house, having a husband that was always working out of town, etc etc), I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with Makenna. Up and down between pregnancies, losing a pregnancy in between, and then having a crazy year last year; separating from the husband, the stress of being a single mom of a 3 year old and newborn, and having a child with an unexpected genetic condition… well it didn’t help in the getting healthy department. The lack of sleep and stress definitely got the best of me.

Back in January I flipped the switch again. I made the decision. This was it…I am going to do it again. I’ve always been mildly obsessed with numbers. I like nice, even, pretty numbers (yes, sounds crazy!). So I thought… the year, 2013. Hrmmm. Nothing really even or nice about that number. What will this year be like? I tossed my ridiculous number theory out the window and decided this was it. 2013 was going to be my year. The year.

I have a treadmill. Oh yes, back to the running thing. It sat unused or used infrequently for the first 6 months after the kids and I moved into our new place. For those first few months, I would tell myself, man…I’m a single mom now to two young kids, ain’t nobody got time for that! 😉 Did I ever have some good excuses. But then a few things happened (the flea incident of August 2012? Yeah…you don’t want the details!), and holy crap, did I realize how much time I could find in the day if it was necessary.

I started reading a bit about fitness and discovered that steady state aerobic exercise isn’t the end all, be all of getting fit and losing fat. In fact, you can get a much more effective work out in, in much less time!, with HIIT (high intensity interval training). So that’s what I do on the treadmill. I’m far from calling myself a runner, but I sprint like crazy, alternating with less intense periods of recovery, for 20-30 minutes. I try to do this at least 5 times/week. I usually think I’m close to dying by the end of it and sometimes puke in my mouth a little (TMI?!)…but when the going gets tough these days, this is what I repeat to myself… “I gave birth to a 10lb baby, I gave birth to a 10lb baby”. I can do anything for 20 minutes. Sometimes the most rewarding things come when we get a little uncomfortable. Even if I hate running.

47.2lbs and counting…

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No, I Do Not Feed My Baby Cheeseburgers

Sometimes I feel like having a sign that says this, tacked onto the stroller while we’re out and about. This morning we were at the farmer’s market. It was hot. It was busy. Declan was in the stroller and he was wearing shorts. His beautiful, chubby little legs and bare feet were hanging out in all their scrumptious glory. As I pushed the stroller through the crowd, there was a constant hum of “look at those legs!” as people passed us in the other direction. I don’t know what they were thinking. And I really shouldn’t care either.


But there’s this tiny part of me (part of me I’m trying to squash out completely) that worries about what people are thinking. As a kid, growing up, I was so, so self-conscious. I was constantly concerned and filled with worry about what people thought of me. Ugh. Just typing that make me want to grab my younger self by the shoulders and shake some sense into her!

Last year, as the weather warmed up and it was time to dress my (always hot!) baby in cooler clothing, it hit me; what are people going to think of these super chubby legs?! Never mind that they are short. But the chub! All of my past insecurities rushed through me, and I remember making the decision. The decision to not care. I was just not going to give a damn about what people thought.

If I chose to be self-conscious about his legs, I thought to myself, what kind of message am I sending to my son? I never want to do that. And so he was dressed in onesies and rompers and shorts all summer long. And I began to not even think about it anymore.

I think because he is older this summer, and still has those (adorable!) chubby little legs, the comments are more frequent. People are noticing that something’s different. I really don’t even think much about it anymore, as it’s become my new normal. But then there are days like today…with all the comments and buzz of the crowd. It reminds me, and that little self-conscious jerk I’ve been trying to squash rears her ugly head.

My baby is healthy, happy and a joy to be around. That’s all that should really matter. It is all that matters. This is simply my first foray into a future that will include plenty of comments and whispers and questions. How I choose to react to all of it will shape him. And I will do everything to help him be the best that he can be. No sign needed here. Just a proud mama who is claiming her confidence.

Picnicking at the park

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Too many thoughts buzzing around in my head. This and that, and everything in between. I haven’t been able to sort through them all and the thought of sitting down here to write at the end of the day has been too much. I told myself to not feel guilty for ignoring this space lately. So I’ve been trying to decompress in other ways. Oh…and I got American Netflix (much better content than Canadian!)…so the distractions have come easily 😉

Tomorrow, this little guy will be closer to 2 years old than he is to 1. Today he is 18 months old. No longer a baby…he runs (okay, cruises) away from me. But I always find him coming back. He needs his mama, this one. And me too. Pretty certain he will always be my baby…whether he’s on the upswing to 2 years old, or 20.

Walking with big sis

At 1 ½ years, my Declan… you are determined. You are certain. You have the best giggle and aren’t afraid to use it. You are loud. You love to let me know when you’re ‘ALL DONE!!!’ eating, placing your cup on top of your plate and holding it out for me to take to the kitchen. You are probably the tidiest 1 year old on the planet when you eat. You have 12 teeth. You have lots of scruffy blonde hair that is in need of its 4th haircut. You love to love. And we love to love you back.

Happy half-birthday baby boy.

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When I Grow Up

When I was young, the only thing I can remember really wanting to be when I grow up was a mom. Thinking back…I’m not sure if that was really naïve or really ambitious. Maybe a bit of both 😉

I am so fortunate to have these two in my life. I am who I am, because of them.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there (especially mine!). I hope the day was filled with lots of love and laughter.

Mother’s Day, 2013

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